What to Watch for: 5.27.13

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Baltimore Orioles (27-23) vs. Washington Nationals (26-24)

RHP Jason Hammel (6-2, 5.37) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 3.66) 

After a slow start to yesterday’s game, the Nationals posted their highest single-inning output this season when they scored five times in the seventh. With Gio Gonzalez on the mound today, the Nats look to keep their bats hot as they face the Orioles in the first game of the 2013 Battle of the Beltways.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Lombardozzi 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Moore LF

7. Bernadina RF

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

SUNDAY BEST

Washington topped the Phillies, 6-1, in the rubber game of a three-game set on Sunday at Nationals Park as Stephen Strasburg tossed 8.0 innings of one-run ball to out duel fellow-San Diego native Cole Hamels. In their first career matchup, Strasburg and Hamels matched zeros through six innings, but the Nationals broke the scoreless seal as Michael Young’s throwing error (at home plate) on Jhonatan Solano’s bags-loaded, 60-foot dribbler begat a five-run uprising in the seventh. Strasburg helped his own cause with two hits, including a double.

THE AMERICAN WAY

The Nationals are a perfect 5-0 this season against the American League (2-0 vs. Detroit, 3-0 vs. Chicago). Washington is also 23-15 in interleague play since the beginning of 2011 and the corresponding .605 winning percentage paces National League clubs (fifth in Major League Baseball) in that two-plus year span.

10 AGAIN

With 10-, 11- and 10-hit efforts the last three days, the Nationals have tallied three straight double-digit hit totals for the first time since sweeping a three-gamer from the White Sox, April 9-11 in D.C. (13, 11, 10).

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